"Her easily-driven hull hit 12 knots powered by a 3.5hp outboard, and she felt stable and safe under way... plenty of room for passengers and gear..."
PRACTICAL BOAT OWNER, August 2009
"A highly practical boat and an ingenious design"
WATERCRAFT MAGAZINE, Sept/Oct 2009
This page is mostly about the 14ft version - click here for NEW 16ft model: TRIO 16
TRIO Price List Cars the Trio fits inside More Trio pictures Electric Drive packages
The Nestaway Trio multi-purpose-boat is 14 foot long, can be paddled, rowed, motored or
sailed, and splits into three nesting sections that will fit in the back of an estate car or small
trailer for easy transport. Drawn to our unique specification and design, she will take three
adults (or two plus two children) for a nice day out on the river, or has plenty of space for
a couple of blokes and their gear on a fishing trip. She is primarily a "square stern canoe",
with a transom at the stern, and slightly flattened sections aft to enable her to plane and
improve stability. Her long, lean shape is very efficient and also makes a fine rowing boat
or candidate for electric drive (separate page here: Electric Drive for Trio).
In the photo above she is doing about 11knots (22km per hour) with just a 3.5hp petrol
outboard, and carrying a passenger she will still do 10knots (20km per hour). With a 2kW
Torqeedo electric outboard she will do about 9knots (18km per hour), in virtual silence
and with astonishing acceleration. As you might imagine, these speeds feel even faster
on the water...
Naturally, as she is a Nestaway, the hull splits into sections, in this case three, with the
bow and stern fitting inside the middle for easy storage and transport.
The bow section is 90cm wide, 125cm long, weight 14kg; the stern section 105x137cm, weight 21kg; and the middle 108x160cm, 30kg. The sections can be carried individually if any distance is involved and there is also a lighter weight hull upgrade that saves about 20kg overall.
The nested package will fit in most "mid-size" estate cars such as Ford Focus and up (click here Cars the Trio fits inside).
The nested sections can be stood upright, so you can keep her in the corner of your shed, garage, beach hut, or even a large cupboard. The ability to keep her indoors means less maintenance/storage.
|If you don't have an estate car, or need the back of it for people and luggage, the nested Trio 14 fits very neatly inside a 6x4ft box trailer as shown here. |
It's cheaper to buy - also easier to tow, park and store - than a boat trailer... and, when your Trio's not in it, you still have a useful general-purpose trailer.
The Trio 14 hull is moulded in glassfibre with Iroko trim, or Teak as an upgrade.
| ||The high length to beam ratio (4:1) makes her a good candidate for rowing with optional rowlocks on the gunwhales; and if you're very keen on rowing we also offer stainless steel outriggers (6" each side) to improve the "gearing" and allow the use of longer oars (8ft instead of 6ft).|
This photo shows the full foredeck version - in most other pictures you will see the half foredeck moulding. It adds buoyancy but takes away storage space: a no-cost option/choice.
Our 44sqft balanced lugsail rig fits perfectly on the Trio 14: her long, lean hull accelerates to the slightest puff of wind. She's obviously not a racing boat but will make good progress in all directions: great for exploring lakes and other inland waterways under sail, "Swallows & Amazons" style.
The mast (in wood or aluminium) is free-standing, so there's no rigging to fiddle about with, and she's quicker to set up than many other sailing craft.
Lateral resistance is provided by leeboards, like you see on Dutch barges, which bolt onto pads below the gunwhales on the middle section.
Shown here with a tan sail, wooden spars, navy blue hull and teak decks the Trio looks gorgeous and other water users frequently comment along the lines of "What a beautiful boat".
If you don't want a sailing rig now, but may in the future, there is an option to have the leeboard pads and mast supports built in from new; everything else can be retro-fitted and is fairly straight-forward DIY.
WHEELS & OUTRIGGER FLOATS
We have recently added the option to fit a multi-purpose cross beam, to which wheels (above) and outrigger floats (right) can be fitted. The beam is clamped across the gunwhales, and the floats or wheels then slide into it from each side.
The float position is variable both in and out, and up and down; this means they can be set to clear the water most of the time when moving; or down when stationary, eg if you wanted to be able to stand up when fishing.
We have sold many, many Trio 14s without the floats, but they are an effective and confidence-inspiring addition, enabling you to do things that should not be possible in a boat with a 3ft 6" beam, like sit right out to one side without capsizing. They are shaped to cause minimimal drag when immersed, or part-immersed.
The picture above shows the floats fully extended; and the picture right one of the floats fully retracted in to sit against the hull side. The mount is designed so that the floats rotate if hit hard against an obstruction.
As the beam is attached at the aft joint - a very strong part of the boat - when the wheels are fitted the boat's weight is partly counter-balanced (unlike having wheels on the transom), and if you have an engine on the back (depending on its weight) almost neutrally balanced for effortless maneuverability on shore.
This picture shows one of the wheels close-up, plus the crossbeam-to-gunwhale clamping mechanism. The webbing strap is a method to "guy" the wheels against shock forces in contact with rocks etc.
NOTE: WE ORDER THE FLOAT/WHEEL SETS IN SMALL BATCHES - CALL NOW TO RESERVE YOURS!
Click here for: Trio Prices
Trio Engine Capacity
We are often asked if the Trio can take a bigger engine than 3.5hp (our
maximum recommended size), and the short answer is no. Although the
hull shape has the potential to be faster with more power, the extra speed
would incur stresses that she is not designed for. Hitting even a small wave
at, say, 20 knots has a lot more than double the effect that the same
impact at 10 knots would. To withstand such forces she would need to be
more heavily built, making transport and assembly of the sections more
difficult. And, in most places that she is intended to be used, the speed
limit is much lower than she can achieve with 3.5hp.
11 knots is plenty!
The Trio is much more stable than you might think, as she is relatively
flat-bottomed (in the middle and aft), carrying her beam right out to the
sides (she has quite a "hard turn of the bilge") over much of her length.
A 90kg person can stand at the side of the middle section without dipping
the gunwhales under, and an outboard can be installed by one person at
the stern (ie nobody counterbalancing forward) without tipping her up.
The new outrigger system (see details above) adds further stability if this
is important to you, but we have sold many Trios without it and the
customers have all been happy so far.
However we must point out that like all small, open boats, her capabilities
are limited. She is 14ft long, but a relatively "small" 14 footer, developed
from a canoe hull form with wider, flatter stern sections. Many "boats" of
the same length have two or even three times her volume. She is primarily
designed for use on sheltered inland waterways - lakes, rivers, canals,
estuaries, harbours etc - where she will provide much fun. She is not
intended for use in large waves at sea, but reasonably loaded there is no
problem leaving the harbour on a nice calm day to visit the cove round
the corner, provided you know what you're doing.
There is some debate as to whether she is a canoe or a boat, and
therefore what standards she has to meet. If a canoe she would be
exempt from the Recreational Craft Directive (RCD). If a boat there
is currently no official standard for stability/buoyancy for craft of
this beam, which makes the testing rather difficult...
Nonetheless under RCD testing (using the standard they do have,
for wider-beamed craft) she rates Category D for two adults plus motor,
luggage etc. There is built-in permanent buoyancy in all three sections.
At extra cost (and weight) we can foam fill the tanks and/or fit extra
buoyancy under the thwarts if you are particularly concerned about this
issue, perhaps if you have young children.
Most other open "canoes" - including those with transoms and clearly
designed for use with a motor - do not have any built-in buoyancy, and
have no RCD rating, so the Trio is significantly ahead in this respect.
If she is a canoe then we would say she can take at least three adults, or
two plus two children. Other square stern "canoes" of equivalent size seem
to quote a lot more than that.
The picture below is not a recommendation but illustrates our point... she
has four blokes on board, all of whom are over 6ft tall and somewhere in
the 200-lb weight (90 kg) range:
She was not over-endowed with stability or freeboard at this point but
could be motored around a large lake (cautiously to begin with!) without
mishap. Like all small boats (and canoes!) her capability is largely dependent
on the type of water you're using, the weather conditions, and the
experience of those on board. The four pictured are not wearing buoyancy
aids, but we do recommend you should (again as with any small craft).
Trio as a Yacht Tender
We have had a number of enquiries about using the Trio 14 as a yacht
tender, and can certainly see her appeal in this role. In many of the
Caribbean islands for example, if you anchor in a nice bay there is usually a
river in the corner that begs exploration.
Her easily-driven hull means you'd only need a small, light outboard that
can be handed on/off the mother ship - much easier than the 10-15hp
lumps that most cruisers seem to use on their inflatables. And her elegant
shape will draw conversation, especially if you dispense with the outboard
and row (or sail) round the anchorage...
In practical terms the sheer (upward curve) of the Trio's bow section means
she does not store as easily upside down as our Pram Dinghy, but suitable
chocks could be built to do this. We think the better alternative would be a
cradle to store her right way up, with a cover incorporating webbing straps
as a tie-down mechanism. That would make assembly of the sections easier
too. Launching her would require a four-point sling and halyard, but the
attachment points are already there (the joining bolts), and she is lighter
than many RIBs.
She might also fit in the "stern garage" commonly found on many larger
motor and sailing yachts. Indeed you could get two or even three Trios in
the space of one RIB...
Build Your Own Trio
If you like the idea of building a Trio 14 yourself, there is also the option to
buy the plans for construction in cedar strip - plans are £57 plus postage.
To make the joints between the sections look "fair", the boat is built in one,
with the double bulkheads (spaced apart by a few mm) forming part of the
jig. In what will probably be one of your scariest boatbuilding moments,
when the work is complete you put a saw between the bulkheads and split
her in three... (we do know it works, as this is how we built the original
"plug" to make the moulds for production in glassfibre).
We can supply any/all of the components you might find difficult to source
yourself, from the connecting hooks and bolts to larger items such as the
rudder or mast. Please contact us for further information.